Hello, everyone! Dane here, your friendly Arts Centre social media manager, and today I have a confession: we’ve been a little bit busy.

We’d just about finished working on our November recap when we had a whole heap of news to talk about at the start of December, as well as some grant applications and a lot of hard work going into both of our bars, in the Cafe Space and the Old Church Space. We were so busy that by the time we were ready to post our November update, we had plenty to talk about from December, too!

And so before we look ahead to a (hopefully) brighter and more productive 2021, let’s take a quick look back at what’s new at Wycombe Arts Centre over the last couple of months…

Limited Edition Tshirt Campaign

In October, we were approached by a company called Print Social that specialises in running crowdfunded campaigns for screenprinted tshirts. When they reached out to us, they let us know about an offer they were running in aid of COVID relief where a percentage of their production costs would be donated to a charity of the client’s choice.

And so we hatched a few plans, reached out to a few of our artist friends and created a campaign which offered up six different limited edition tshirt designs created by High Wycombe artists. On top of the money that Print Social donated on our behalf to the charity of our choice (Mental Health UK), we also pledged to donate 10% of our profits to Wycombe Food Hub.

You can find out more about the artists and check out their designs via the links below:

We’re pleased to say that in the end, we were able to sell a total of 55 tshirts, raising a total of £72.88 for our chosen charities in the process. Don’t worry if you missed your chance to grab one, though – we’ll have a limited number of them available on-site and hope to do more campaigns like this again in the future!

Signdance Wins a Kat Award

We’d like to take a moment here to offer up a huge congratulations to our company-in-residence Signdance Collective International on receiving the Kat Award for Best Accessible Film for their international, Arts Council England funded The Time Projcect!

In presenting the award, Together 2012 CIC said, “We were impressed that in addition to making the final films accessible to the audience […] everyone could actively contribute to the company’s work, setting a new standard for access.”

A highly-justified award, it recognises the contribution that SDC has made in an area of the arts where, despite great and innovative work, the creativity and talent of artists can remain unacknowledged.

We’re very excited to bring more of Signdance Collective’s projects to you in the New Year, including at our Hybrid Arts Festival (scheduled for 8th – 22nd August 2021). Watch this space!

Other News

We’ve been carrying out refurbishments in the Cafe Space to create a more inviting and accessible bar for our visitors to enjoy. It’s coming along nicely and we can’t wait for you to see it, but we want to save it as a surprise and so you’ll have to visit us in person to check it out!

We’ve also been offering support to our partner organisation Signdance Coillective, which is organising a Hybrid Arts Festival to take place at Wycombe Arts Centre in August 2021. Signdance is also looking for people to take part in their upcoming Essence of Time Digital Exchange Programme. All submitted pieces will be displayed as part of a growing digital canvas.

Your piece will be edited together with other pieces. Please ensure you don’t include any copyrighted material. Send your submission by 4th January to Isolte via WeTransfer or similar at signdanceco@gmail.com. Simply create a 60-90 second video or audio clip using any of the following art forms as a response to The Nature of Time or Time in Nature:

  • Movement/Dance
  • Soundscape
  • Music
  • Performance Art
  • Visual Art
  • Poetic Non-Verbal Statement
  • Signpoetry

If you have any excess food, especially if it has plenty of time before its expiry date, please do consider donating it to Wycombe Food Hub. They’ve been doing some fantastic work this year and this Christmas in particular, and you can check it all out on their Facebook page.They also have a GoFundMe page where they accept cash donations. We were able to donate to both Wycombe Food Hub and Mental Health UK through our recent tshirt collaboration with local artists, so big thanks to everyone who bought one!

And of course, we’d also like to wish you all a happy holidays. We hope that you have the best possible start to the new year and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2021! 

Jaz Delorean

Looking ahead to the future

With Buckinghamshire still under tier four lockdown restrictions, it’s hard to tell exactly when we’ll be able to reopen our doors and start welcoming visitors back to Wycombe Arts Centre. With that said, here are just a few of the events that we were planning and which you can hope to see rescheduled for 2021:

  • #BreakingBarriers4 is coming to Wycombe Arts Centre! Organised in partnership with Wycombe Youth Action, Chiltern Rangers, Flux Photographic, Decreate and more, the Breaking Barriers events are designed to provide free creative workshops for young people in and around High Wycombe.
  • We’re hoping to relaunch our monthly open mic nights and Sunday jams in the new year using our Church Space to enable social distancing. 
  • We’re also hoping to reschedule Tankus the Henge frontman Jaz Delorean, who was due to return to Wycombe Arts Centre for two solo performances on Saturday January 9th
  • Films @ Wycombe Arts Centre fell victim to lockdowns for a second time. In December, we were due to be screening A Christmas Carol (2020), but we had to settle instead for watching it at home. We’re hoping to launch it properly in 2021 with our new projector and screen, so join the Films @ Wycombe Arts Centre Facebook group for more info!
  • Our COVID-secure indie bands night is due to take place on the evening of February 6th 2021 but will be rescheduled if needed. Please book your tickets in advance to guarantee entry.
  • Singer/songwriter/motivational speaker BR James and friends were due to come to Wycombe Arts Centre for an evening of stories and songs. Already rescheduled for Saturday January 30th 2021, we hope to either open if allowed or to reschedule if not. 
  • We hope to be able to host weekly Humming Bee Yoga sessions as soon as possible.
  • Juliet of The Tired Dressmaker was gearing up for her free Bucks Sewing Bee taster session on Saturday November 21st. This has been postponed for now and will hopefully return in March 2021.
  • The same goes for the screenprinting workshops by artists Kalkalata and Ruth October, which were due to take place on the evening of Friday 27th November. Keep your eyes peeled for updates and announcements!
  • Roundabout Creative Theatre is coming to Wycombe Arts Centre! Currently due to begin on Jnauary 27th, it’s an inclusive theatre group for anyone over the age of 17 who wants to have fun exploring and creating original local theatre. Click here to find out more.
  • We announced the launch of Dwelling, an experimental performance that combines dance/theatre, film, and live vocal-looping to explore innovative ways of telling stories. It’s a small-scale intimate performance that invites the audience to dwell on what are often considered taboos that are associated with death/mourning. Due to take place on February 13th, you can click here to find out more and to learn about tickets.

Get involved

We’re always looking for people who are interested in volunteering or helping out, whether you’re interested in hosting events or whether you’re just looking to get more involved in the local artistic community.

Please do get in touch if you have anything to share! In the meantime, you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for further updates. We look forward to seeing you again soon!